Daemon X Machina is a mech combat game from Marvelous First Studio and published by Nintendo. If you’ve ever played FromSoftware’s Armored Core series, then you’ll feel right at home with this game. On the other hand, if your new to the genre you might initially feel a bit overwhelmed.
That’s not to say that this game is only veterans of the genre, it just means that if you’ve never played a mech combat game it will take you a little bit to get into the groove of things. As a result, Daemon X Machina is a solid entry into the genre and yet another new IP on the Nintendo Switch.
Daemon X Machina Details
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Marvelous First Studio
Genre: Action, third-person shooter
Modes: Single player, Multiplayer
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Defend Earth and defeat the corrupted A.I.
Daemon X Machina takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth that is in danger. What is called the greatest disaster in history, the moon has crashed into Earth and unleashed an energy that has corrupted machines. The area of impact, known as the Oval Link, is the centre of the epidemic.
As a hired mercenary pilot, you use your fully customizable mechanized battle suit (Arsenal) to save Earth from the corrupted A.I. controlled robots and save humanity. To say things start off with a bang is an understatement. Within the first half hour of the game, you are introduced to several characters who work for various mercenary groups. Initially, it’s confusing trying to keep track of who is who.
To be honest, I felt a little lost. There is little to no explanation or backstory to give context of what is going on. However, as you progress through the game, more and more is revealed and eventually things pan out and start to make much more sense.
Complex controls that allow for precise control
Earlier this year in February, a demo of Daemon X Machina called Prototype Missions was released. It gave us a glimpse of what we could expect later in the year when the game was released. During the month-long trial, feedback was collected and as a result changes were implemented into gameplay for the final release.
Just like Daemon X Machina‘s story, that game doesn’t hold back on getting you right into the thick of things. You first play alongside several other mercenaries as you learn the ropes at an accelerated rate. As a result, the learning curve is a bit steep.
Aside from learning how to shoot your weapons, one in each hand, and deploying your shoulder-mounted missiles—you’ll have to master flying your mech. This can all be overwhelming, but if you stick with it the amount of control you have over your mech is pretty impressive and controls become natural.
Upgrading and customizing your Arsenal and character is a big gameplay component of Daemon X Machina. After several missions, you gain access to the Lab and its here where you can enhance your character through genetic augments. This is all done via a skill tree and allows you to apply buffs and change your visual traits. Additionally, outside of the Lab, you have to mange your Arsenal’s weapons, body parts and loadouts.
A unique look that is visually appealing
Daemon X Machina‘s art style is vibrant, colourful and fits well with the Nintendo Switch hardware. I experienced a few graphical glitches here and there during my time with the game but for the most part it ran without a hitch. Arsenals look fairly impressive but character models leave a little bit to be desired.
Overall, the game won’t win any awards for its visuals but it’s far from being ugly. The game’s soundtrack is filled with rock and metal elements that really get your blood pumping while in battle. It’s really one of the game’s strong points.
Rewarding co-op multiplayer modes
Adding to the game’s replayability are local and online co-operative multiplayer modes. With up to four players, missions range from epic boss battles to a unique scenario that is different from the campaign.
Rewards from these co-op missions allow you to buy new parts, weapons, modifications for your mech. Overall, my experience with online play was positive and gave me reason to come back to the game after beating it.
Daemon X Machina is a love letter to mech action fans
Daemon X Machina is not for everyone. There is a free demo on the Nintendo eShop, I urge you to try it out. Mech fans will instantly feel at home with the game, while others have a steep learning curve to overcome. At first, it feels as if you are just thrown into the game with little explanation of what things are and how to use them. However, with patience, the further you get into the game the more things start to make sense.
The amount of control you have over your Arsenal and the sheer number of customizations is impressive. The game sports a unique art style that present bright colours and vibrant environments. It’s clear that Daemon X Machina is a game that caters to mech action fans and in that aspect it doesn’t disappoint.
If you have an interest in mech action games, are new to the genre and have patience then you will thoroughly enjoy this game. On the other hand, if you are looking for a game that you can easily get into and pickup and play then you might want to look elsewhere.
+ Lots of customization options
+ Fantastic soundtrack that gets your blood pumping during battles
+ Fast, up in your face action
+ Overall an interesting story
– Steep learning curve
– Story is not well explained and doesn’t make sense until later on in the game
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF DAEMON X MACHINA
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5